Also, we are making three bars for the same customer, with raised- panel fronts, which they want stained to match.
Any suggestions on wood species that would provide a consistent finish?
The bar could be made out of the same wood, but you may want a little more depth out of the finish on there. Then you would want to use an NGR, toner, washcoat, wiping stain, then seal and topcoat. If the depth of the finish is not a real concern, the NGR dye stain would work well on everything.
Alder would be another wood you may want to consider. The reason I recommend the NGR stain is that poplar and maple and even alder are so soft that they take color unevenly if you don't build your color on correctly. Gluesize would also be an option before finish, to help reduce grain raising -- especially on the poplar.
I have worked with both woods. I would much rather finish alder than poplar. Alder is a lot easier to finish. Poplar has too much grain raising, and the color tends to run all over the place, from light to dark to splotchy.
To simulate mahogany, my vote would be birch. Both mahogany and birch share the same diffuse, porous texture. Birch can stain unevenly so a gluesize or other type of washcoat would be in order.
I would use alder also, but would limit the finishing steps to a dye stain, washcoat, wiping stain, full sealer coat, sealer sand, a little bit of shading if required, then topcoat.
Gluesize in production? I don't think so.
The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).
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Comment from contributor B:
A good substiute for mahogany is congona (blonde mahogany). It runs about half the price of South American mahogany and it is available in veneered plywood. All that is needed is a deep red stain to get it to match. The grain and the texture is the same as mohogany. It can be tricky to rip in narrow strips.
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